Festival of Light will illuminate Dartford
PUBLISHED: 06:00 21 October 2013
Organisers of Dartford's fifth annual Festival of Light are confident it will be the "biggest and best" yet.
Hundreds are expected to attend the event on Friday which will see the town centre illuminated.
More people are taking part than event before and the festival will include a schools’ parade through Dartford, with music from local bhangra group Four by Four, Dhol and Bloco Sogo samba band and a comedy finale from Kent-based comedians Danny and Dan.
Kent Equality Cohesion Council was keen to get the community involved and have worked with arts company Samesky ahead of the event.
More than 550 pupils from across 11 schools have created beautiful lantern torches for the parade from Orchards Shopping Centre, to High Street, Dartford Central Park, and finishing at the bandstand. Gurvinder Sandher, CEO of the Kent Equality Cohesion Council, said: “This year we are starting the parade in the town centre and it’s a different route to last year so we can showcase more of what is in Dartford.”
“We don’t want the children to just turn up, but to have a sense of ownership during the parade too as they have created their own lanterns.
“On the day we will put battery operated packs into them for them to light up. It should look good with them all together lighting up the route.”
Last year’s festival had to be cancelled after torrential rain made it a washout, but when it went ahead two weeks later, organiser Mr Sandher, said he was pleased revellers still came along and took part in the parade.
He added: “This year we are hoping for better luck and are hoping for good weather. We hope it will be the biggest and best yet.”
The event is ahead of Diwali on November 3, but Mr Sandher said the festival, which is inclusive of all communities, faiths and ethnicities, has always been a good event for the Dartford community.
He said: “People assume it is just about Diwali, but it’s not. There is light in all faiths, and we hope to bring all communities and faiths together through the festival. It is a way of bringing the diverse communities in Dartford together as one.
“And it’s important to make sure it is cross-generational as well with parents and grandparents joining in with the children during the parade.”